According to the latest research in the car insurance industry, drivers who make the decision to add ‘optional extras’ to their cars could end up paying a significant amount more for their car insurance. The report shows that despite the average insurance premium being approximately £440 per year, it could soar to over £2,000 per year with the addition of these optional extras.
Optional Extras Such as Turbo Chargers and Sat Navs
Optional extras are usually gadgets that are installed to improve the performance of the vehicle or aesthetics. For example, turbo chargers, modifications to the gear box, satellite navigation systems and free kits for your phone can all push up the price of your insurance. According to the report, fitting a turbocharger to boost the car’s engine nearly doubles the cost of insurance, adding a huge £409 to the average car insurance premium. Modifying the gearbox could also result in car insurance premiums going up by 48%, and retuning your engine will put your insurance bill up around 23%.
And it’s not just modifications that improve a cars’ performance that will drive up the price; making aesthetic modifications may also cost a significant amount. For example, upgrading wheel arches will increase your premiums by 42%, and even little things such as new seats or a steering wheel will result in an 18% rise in premiums.
Informing Insurance Companies of Modifications to Your Vehicle
The other issue facing drivers of modified vehicles is the importance of informing insurance companies about any changes that have been made to the specification of your car, even if they are only minor. Unfortunately, failure to inform your car insurance provider could result in your policy becoming invalid.
It also appears that there are differences between men and women when it comes to modifications they make on their cars. The study found that men were more likely to add upgrades such as roll bars, bonnet bulges and flared wings, which all added to the insurance price. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to add modifications that made the car safer, in turn lowering premiums. For example, those who added parking sensors to their vehicles were rewarded by insurers with a premium that is 11% lower, saving a total of £48 on the average car insurance premium. The report also showed drivers under 25, those with powerful cars and those living in areas with high crime tend to pay more than the average premium.